While teacher pay has dominated the headlines and discussion school school-based administrators have waited even longer for salary increases.
Principals and assistants principals have not seen any meaningful salary scale adjustments and pay rate ranks 50th in the nation.
The state budget didn’t increase school-based administrator pay a great deal this year; just 1.5 percent continuing and a .5 percent one-time increase. These raises are unlikely to move pay out of the bottom levels, however.
What the state budget did do is convene a joint legislative study committee on school-based administrator pay which will investigate revising the school-based administrator pay scale, recruiting and retaining principals and assistant principals as compared with methods of executive recruitment in other professions, and to find strategies to recruit and retain school-based administrators for low-performing and hard-to-staff schools.
The only timetable for this joint committee of representatives and senators is the deadline to submit their report to the General Assembly by December 31, 2016.
In addition to addressing school-based administrator pay, the General Assembly is concerned about principal performance. The plan is to give school districts some specific options to help principals whose schools are not meeting academic expectations. Districts may keep the principal in place but assign a mentor to the principal. The principal may be moved to another school with different challenges. The school district may also demote or terminate the principal.
These changes are a small step in the incremental overhaul of public education in North Carolina. Wake Ed would like to see a comprehensive approach to educator compensation that positions North Carolina as a competitive employment market for teachers and school-based administrators. If our state wants to attract and retain the best teachers and principals, we need to have a desirable compensation plan that will make it appeal to work in every school district.